Live Election Results: Proposal 3 approved, legalizing abortion in Michigan

There will once again be another change to the Michigan constitution as voters have approved a proposal that protects the right to have an abortion in the state.

Proposal 3, known as Reproductive Freedom for All proposal, was approved by voters in the election on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The amendment to the state's constitution will overrule the prevailing 1931 law in Michigan that outlawed abortion without exception for rape or incest. Under that ban, providing non-life-saving abortions would have been prosecuted as manslaughter.  

Interactive map: How Michigan counties voted to protect abortion rights

The proposal was put on the ballot after supporters gathered over 600,000 valid signatures in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

The polarizing battle over Michigan’s abortion rights intensified after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade in June. The issue of abortion has also been involved in a lawsuit from Governor Gretchen Whitmer and a court battle to keep abortions legal.

Proposal 3, despite receiving more than the required signatures, was the subject of a controversial decision by two Republican members of the board of canvassers, who refused to certify a petition.

That decision was eventually reversed, by the Michigan Supreme Court.

Find more election results here.

What does Proposal 3 say?

Proposal 22-2 reads as follows.

Proposal 22-3 A Proposal To Amend The State Constitution To Establish New Individual Right To Reproductive Freedom, Including Right To Make All Decisions About Pregnancy And Abortion; Allow State To Regulate Abortion In Some Cases; And Forbid Prosecution Of Individuals Exercising Established Right

This proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Establish new individual right to reproductive freedom, including right to make and carry out all decisions about pregnancy, such as prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management, and infertility;
  • Allow state to regulate abortion after fetal viability, but not prohibit if medically needed to protect a patient’s life or physical or mental health;
  • Forbid state discrimination in enforcement of this right; prohibit prosecution of an individual, or a person helping a pregnant individual, for exercising rights established by this amendment;
  • Invalidate state laws conflicting with this amendment.

Should this proposal be adopted?

You can either then vote yes or no. 

What will change with the approval of Proposal 3?

Not much will change today. Proposal 3 maintains that patients have the right to decide on prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, infertility, and other decisions to the patient. 

In doing so, it legalizes abortion and invalidates the previous laws that conflict with it. Meaning the 1931 law that banned abortion will be wiped from the state law.

Proposal 3 is the Michigan Abortion Amendment.  A "yes" vote means that abortion stays legal in the state. 

What do supporters of Proposal 3 say?

Supporters of the proposal argued that residents need to continue to have the rights that have been in place for the state for the past 50 years. 

Planned Parenthood, Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit, and some religious leaders are backing it, including Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow, the senior pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit.

"We believe in reproductive justice, to allow individuals the right to choose," said Rev. Dr. Stringfellow. "Women should have the right to make those decisions for themselves."

Related: Doctor concerned over language in Michigan abortion amendment

Groups like the Michigan section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Committee to Protect Health Care, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and others are concerned about what they've already seen happening in the neighboring states of Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana, where abortion has been severely restricted or banned.

Dr. Timothy Johnson has been treating pregnant women facing challenges and said the overturning of Roe v. Wade hurts the patients.

"We've seen women delayed care for miscarriage, delayed care for ectopic pregnancy, delayed care for high-risk pregnancies," Johnson said. "Lots of questions, lots of ambiguity, and I don't think we need that in Michigan."